Penn State University placed three teams, including the champion foursome, in the top 10 of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) 21st annual Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition at the Golf Industry Show on Feb. 26 in San Antonio. The Turf Bowl was presented in partnership with John Deere Golf.
The foursome of Chris Marra, William Ellinger, Kyle Patterson and Alexander Bonini will return to State College, Pa., with the traveling trophy and a $4,000 first-place cash prize. Teams from Penn State also took third and ninth place. Rounding out the top 10 were teams from the University of Maryland (second), Michigan State University (fourth), Iowa State University (fifth and sixth), Cal Poly Pomona (seventh), Purdue University (eighth) and the University of Arkansas (10th). This year 252 students on 69 teams from 33 colleges and universities participated in the competition.
The Turf Bowl challenged students from universities or institutions to identify turfgrass species, diseases, weeds and insects, as well as answer questions on mathematics, growth and development. The exam also allowed teams to collaborate for the case study portion and submit an essay that addressed business management facets of the superintendent profession, while emphasizing the importance of communication skills.
As part of extended Turf Bowl activities, alumni and fans of participating schools took part in the Turf Bowl Tweet Rally from Jan. 29 to Feb. 25. Twitter users included school-specific hashtags to to win the GCSAA Collegiate Spirit Award and $500. The University of Guelph won the Spirit Award with more than 2,200 tweets.